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IAA DEI Member Survey: A Preview of Results

March 2, 2023

The IAA is committed to working collectively with its members, policymakers, and business leaders to support the values of diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) as a priority for our industry.

While our profession has made some progress in terms of DEI, representation by women and minorities, among other diverse groups, still lags behind the general population and many other industries. Gathering relevant data is a crucial foundational step in addressing these issues, because it gives us an important tool to gain insight into the current landscape and allows us to measure subsequent progress.

In late 2022, the IAA conducted a survey to allow members to provide firm-level information about their diversity characteristics and DEI practices. Though we recognize that the data gathered does not purport to represent the industry at large, we’d like to share a preview of the results here.

Client Focus and Ownership

Of the firms that responded, 45% focus primarily on individual/high-net-worth clients, 40% primarily on the institutional market, and 15% on a combination of the two client types. Majority ownership by either women, a minority, or a combination of the two was reported to be 17%.

Gender, Race, and Ethnicity: Selected Data

With respect to gender, more than half (57%) of the staffs of firms that reported are men. Of those, a significant majority were white, at 82%, which is also the proportion of the total population that was reported to be white. Among senior management ranks, 79% were men, of whom 87% were white (68% percent of all employees at the senior management level).

Individuals identifying as Asian comprised the next largest proportions overall and in senior positions. Asian employees make up 7% of the overall employee count, with Asian men at 4% and Asian women at 3%. Asian men and women make up 6% of reported senior management roles. Black/African American and Hispanic/Latino representation followed, each group making up 4% of the total population and 3% of senior management.

The charts below depict overall representation by racial and ethnic groups overall and among employees reported as senior management*.

*There was minimal representation by Native Hawaiian/Pacific Islanders and none reported in the American Indian or Alaska Native category.

Firm Practices Related to DEI: Assorted Findings

With respect to commitment to DEI, 74% of firms reported either having or planning to establish a stated position and set of policies on DEI. Of those who don’t, most are firms with 20 or fewer employees, and all have fewer than 40 employees, suggesting that resource limitations may be the reason — at least in part — for the response.

  • A slight majority of respondents (51%) indicate that they either track employee sentiment on DEI (g., via employee surveys) or plan to in the future.
  • 67% of firms indicated that they currently take DEI factors into consideration in their recruiting/hiring and talent management functions, and an additional 21% say that they plan to or are considering formally incorporating such practices.
  • 51% of firms either offer or are considering forming mentorship programs for employees. The balance (who do not and don’t plan to) comprises firms with 40 or fewer employees, and more than half of these have 25 or fewer employees, possibly indicating that resources for such efforts may be limited.

We would like to thank those IAA member firms who responded to the survey, with particular appreciation to those who identified themselves, such that we might collaborate in this work.

The full report will be released in the coming weeks. If you have questions, please contact IAA Vice President, Business Practices, Nancy Hancock, at or 202.507.7205.

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